GBF Africa
Shaikh Hamdan attends GBF Africa 2021 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE and Dubai seek to serve as a bridge between markets to enable countries across the world access new opportunities, and platforms such as the sixth Global Business Forum Africa are the enablers of such opportunities, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, has said.

The comments from Shaikh Hamdan came as he attended GBF Africa 2021 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving global environment, the UAE and Africa have a unique opportunity to usher in a new phase of growth in their economic relationship. The sixth Global Business Forum provides the ideal platform for both sides to explore ways to tap fresh synergies and add new dimensions to their ties,” Shaikh Hamdan said.

Video by Anas Thacharpadikkal

Robust response to forum

Hosted under the theme ‘Transformation Through Trade,’ the two-day forum – organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai – closed with a total tally of 550 bilateral meetings and 3,000 delegates taking part, including 600 who attended remotely and represented more than 90 countries from around the world.

“The countries of the African continent represent some of the world's fastest growing markets, and as a leading global commercial and trading hub, Dubai is well placed to offer them the infrastructure, connectivity and expertise required to expand their worldwide reach,” Shaikh Hamdan said. “The UAE and Dubai seek to serve as a bridge between markets to enable countries across the world access new opportunities. We look forward to working closely with African nations to explore new avenues of cooperation and development that will contribute to accelerating the momentum of global recovery and growth,” Shaikh Hamdan added.

Echoing similar sentiments, Shaikh Shakhbout Bin Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State, reinforced the UAE’s commitment to expanding its economic relations with Africa.

UAE’s commitment to Africa

"It is undoubtedly our duty and responsibility to stand together and support one another in the face of adversity and hardships," Shaikh Shakhbout Bin Nahyan said, speaking at the Forum. "Trying times like these can only reinforce the strong bonds that we have built over the years, which have defined our relationships as global partners. These partnerships are a testament to the UAE’s keen interest in bolstering our relations with Africa and our profound commitment to expanding opportunity and deepening relationships between our countries," he added.

Attracting capital to fund Africa’s economic development and providing global market access to African companies were top priorities for governments and businesses in Dubai and the UAE, according to industry experts speaking at the Forum. Several sessions examined the critical role of capital markets and trade agreements in driving economic development, as well as expertise and support that the UAE companies can offer their African counterparts.

The high-level forum brought together government and business leaders to explore bilateral trade opportunities between the UAE and Africa and featured several thought-provoking sessions – the first in a series of Global Business Forums taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai, with the upcoming forums focusing on Latin America and the ASEAN region.

Ideal platform for UAE-Africa partnerships

According to Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, this year’s edition of the Global Business Forum Africa saw the highest number of bilateral business meetings between African and Emirati investors since the launch of the GBF series.

"Once again, GBF Africa has demonstrated that it is the ideal platform to launch partnerships, identify investment prospects and opportunities, and enhance economic cooperation between the local business community and their counterparts on the African continent," Buamim said. "The Forum’s success reaffirms Dubai and the UAE’s strong relations with promising African countries,” he said.

Through its network of international representative offices, trade missions and high-profile business forums, Dubai Chamber works to raise Dubai’s profile as a global trade and investment hub. The Chamber represents more than 260,000 companies, making it one of the world’s largest membership-based Chambers of Commerce.